StreamLoan expands into insurtech with Progressive deal

StreamLoan CEO says the deal represents a new chapter for the company

Fintech startup StreamLoan is dipping its toe in the insurtech pool.

San Francisco-based StreamLoan has forged a partnership with insurance giant Progressive enabling home buyers and homeowners who use StreamLoan’s digital mortgage platform to obtain quotes for homeowners’ insurance. This setup lets a consumer compare quotes from several insurers, including Progressive, with only one click. The platform formulates quotes based on data that the consumer has plugged into StreamLoan’s system.

The tech integration builds on Progressive’s HomeQuote Explorer platform, which allows homeowners and home buyers to compare quotes from a number of insurers.

“Ease, mobility and speed are what customers expect,” Tammy Loucks, business leader of direct quoting at Mayfield Village, Ohio-based Progressive, said in an October 12 news release. “Offering homeowners quotes with one click right at the point in the mortgage process where borrowers need to enter insurance information is a great example of how we’re making sure our customer experience is best-in-class.”

Under this deal, StreamLoan becomes a player in what research company IBISWorld estimates is a $105.7 billion U.S. market for homeowners’ insurance.

Founded in 2015, StreamLoan licenses its software to mortgage lenders, fintech companies and mortgage brokers. They use the StreamLoan technology to run their mortgage operations, such as collecting mortgage leads, capturing loan applications, collaborating with real estate agents and streamlining the collection of myriad mortgage documents. The technology works on both mobile and web apps.

Stephen Bulfer, co-founder and CEO of StreamLoan, said the Progressive deal represents a new chapter for the company: adding services that appeal to borrowers. Buying homeowners insurance is an adjacent component of the mortgage process, meaning that borrowers who use the StreamLoan platform are highly likely to be shopping for coverage.

The integration between StreamLoan’s and Progressive’s technology simplifies one of the many tasks that borrowers must manage during the mortgage process, according to Bulfer.

“We’re using the data that we already have as a part of the mortgage application process in a smart way for them to take away headaches and wasted time and frustration,” he said.

Bulfer said StreamLoan eventually will look at incorporating other insurance offerings into its platform, such as auto, health and life coverage, that are tied to an array of life events. If that comes to fruition, an insurance marketplace essentially would be embedded in StreamLoan’s platform.

“We’re just getting started in the insurance space. We have a lot of intent data on other insurance products that are ripe for these life events,” he said. “We know quite a bit about the user’s demographic and psychographic profile and levels of intent as they move through the process.”

Bulfer noted, however, that StreamLoan has no desire to morph into a pure-play insurtech company, although the startup’s investors and executives are “bullish” on incorporating more insurance functionality into the platform.

On the lending side of things, Bulfer said StreamLoan will evaluate opportunities to serve other types of borrowers and lenders, such as those connected to personal loans.

To date, StreamLoan has picked up $3.5 million in funding, including a $2 million seed round announced in February 2018. Among the seed investors were Acorn Pacific Ventures; Langdell Investments; 500 Startups; Australian fintech entrepreneur Steve Weston, former CEO of Barclays’ mortgage business; and Opendoor executive Rajiv Krishnarao, a former executive at Uber and Sequoia Capital.

StreamLoan is just one player in a burgeoning market. KBV Research predicts the global market for digital lending platforms, including those geared toward mortgages, will reach $11.6 billion by 2025, with banks and insurance companies consuming much of the market share.

Bulfer said StreamLoan is “becoming the digital fabric for real estate and mortgage transactions, which hasn’t existed up to this point.”

There have been other deals in the space as of late. In July, Detroit-based Nexsys Technologies revealed a new partnership with Lemonade aimed at boosting the digital insurer’s offerings. Specifically, newly public Lemonade partnered with Nexsys, a fintech company that aims to provide “a suite of essential tech solutions” for mortgage origination and closing. 

And in 2018, digital lending company Blend announced its expansion into a new space with the unveiling of Blend Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency that enabled borrowers to shop for homeowners’ insurance during the mortgage application process. Also in 2018,  Matic’s digital homeowners insurance platform became available within MortgageHippo’s digital mortgage experience.

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